If she were thus to seek his indulgence perhaps his great love would again speak to her; perhaps he would then take pity on her and grant her grace. But her fear was too great. She no longer dared trust in his love, and therefore she was afraid to put the black coffin out on the lake.
An old friend and schoolmate of Glory Goldie sought her out at this time. It was August Daer Nol of Praesterud, who was still living under the parental roof.
August Daer Nol was a quiet and sensible man whom it did her good to talk with. He advised her to go away and take up her old occupation. It was not well for her to haunt the desolate pier, watching for the return of a dead man, he said. Glory Goldie answered that she would not dare leave until her father had been laid in consecrated ground. But August would not hear of this. The first time he talked with her nothing was decided, but when he came again she promised to follow his advice. They parted with the understanding that he was to come for her the following day and take her to the railway station in his own carriage.
Had he done so possibly all would have gone smoothly. But he was prevented from coming himself and sent a hired man with the team. All the same Glory Goldie got into the carriage and drove off. On the way to the station she talked with the driver about her father and encouraged him to relate stories of her father’s clairvoyance, the ones Katrina had told her on the pier and still others.
When she had listened a while she begged the driver to turn back. She had become so alarmed that she was afraid to go any farther. He was too powerful, was the old Emperor of Portugallia! She knew how the dead that have not been buried in churchyard mould haunt and pursue their enemies. Her father would have to be brought up out of the water and laid in his coffin. God’s Holy Word must be read over him, else she would never know a moment’s peace.
JAN’S LAST WORDS
Along toward Christmas time Glory Goldie received word that her mother lay at the point of death. Then at last she tore herself away from the pier.
She went home on foot, this being the best way to get to the Ashdales—taking the old familiar road across Loby, then on through the big forest and over Snipa Ridge. When going past the old Hindrickson homestead she saw a big, broad-shouldered man, with a strong, grave-looking visage, standing at the roadside mending a picket fence. The man gave her a stiff nod as she went by. He stood still for a moment, looking after her, then hastened to overtake her.
“This must be Glory Goldie of Ruffluck,” he said as he came up with her. “I’d like to have a word with you. I’m Linnart, son of Bjoern Hindrickson,” he added, seeing that she did not know who he was.
“I’m terribly pressed for time now,” Glory Goldie told him. “So perhaps you’d better wait till another day. I’ve just learned that my mother is dying.”